Birmingham City boss John Eustace condemns alleged abuse of Neil Etheridge at Blackburn Rovers

Birmingham City’s goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was the victim of alleged racist abuse. Credit: PA

Birmingham City boss John Eustace has alleged the team's goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was the victim of racist abuse during Saturday's FA Cup draw against Blackburn Rovers.

Despite taking the lead through Reda Khadra Blues looked to be heading out of the competition when Bradley Dack and Joe Rankin-Costello gave the hosts a 2-1 head.

However, Eustace’s team kept battling to the end and grabbed a 90th minute equaliser from Jordan James to book a replay on Tuesday night.

It took several minutes for the game to resume, though, as Etheridge spoke to referee Keith Stroud.

Speaking after the match, Eustace shed light on what had happened. He said: “Neil was racially abused which was bang out of order, there is no room for racism in society, let alone football."

Referee Keith Stroud (right) speaks to Birmingham City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge during the match at Ewood Park. Credit: PA

Eustace added: "Really disappointing that has happened and us as a football club don’t condone it and we are fully behind Neil.

“The referee will report it and there will be further action from there. The referee took it by the scruff of the neck, it’s a very, very serious issue, you can’t not take it by the scruff of the neck. Neil was shook up a little bit after the game and rightly so but the lads got round him.”

It's not yet been revealed where the alleged abuse originated.

In a statement, Blackburn Rovers said the club is "aware of allegations of racist abuse reported to the match officials by Birmingham City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge during today’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Ewood Park."

Adding: "Referee Keith Stroud notified the players and managers of both clubs of the alleged incident, which will now be fully investigated by Blackburn Rovers and the relevant authorities.

"Allegations of this nature are taken extremely seriously.

"The club has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of abuse and discrimination, and will take the strongest possible action against any individuals identified for committing such offences.

"No further comment will be made at this time."